My Department has commissioned a cost-benefit analysis, CBA, of options that have been proposed for the future development of the regional veterinary laboratories, RVLs. The team conducting the CBA includes internationally-recognised, independent experts in economic analysis and animal disease surveillance. I expect a report and recommendations to be presented to me in the near future. The focus of this review has been to secure and improve the service to the sector at best value to the taxpayer.
My Department completed an initial consultative process with all relevant stakeholders on the options for the RVLs during the course of last year and the consultants undertaking the CBA have also consulted with stakeholders. Any decision that is made on the RVLs will be informed by both those consultative processes and the outcome of the CBA.